Is FastMail blocked in China?

No, FastMail is not blocked in China.

To date, China does block several email services. Most notably, Google’s Gmail service has been blocked in the country since 2015. However, Fastmail is currently not an email service counted among them.  

China has a history of blocking, filtering and monitoring content. The Great Firewall of China, the name given to the country’s content filtering system, is among the most extensive in the world. Several other countries, such as Iran and North Korea, have attempted to mimic the breadth of China’s filtering system.

FastMail claims to be a highly secure service. The company, based in Australia, has previously stated that it does not comply with foreign government requests for user data. At one point, some news outlets misquoted the company as stating it was “NSA proof”. This was amended, although this rumor still persists on some other websites. In truth, the company’s policy of not responding to user information requests from non-Australian governments does not guarantee one’s data is secure from monitoring and spying by foreign governments like China.

China has been known to spy on user content. Many Chinese citizens and internet users in China actively avoid making statements in their emails that might be perceived to be politically or socially contrary to the Chinese Communist Party. The country has also been known to monitor text messages, Skype messages and other forms of internet communications. This means that although FastMail is unblocked in China, it may not be secure.

How to avoid content monitoring in China

You can avoid the content filtering common in China by using a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN routes your internet traffic through an encrypted connection to a remote server. All data passing through that connection is secured through high-level security methods. No one, from governments to hackers, can decrypt your data.

Reputable VPN services will utilize other security methods that help ensure anonymity on the web. That includes obfuscation methods to help mask the use of a VPN, data leak protection, and kill switches. Most will also have fast speeds, avoid data caps and offer their services on through low-cost yearly or monthly subscriptions.

We recommend that you check out our list of VPN services that work well for internet users in China. Your best option is to avoid using a free VPN service that lacks the anonymity and security features offered by more reputable paid services.

We recommend ExpressVPN for internet users in China. ExpressVPN works with Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Linux (command-line). The VPN service has is highly reliable, offers high-level encryption and security standards, and utilizes hundreds of servers in a large number of countries. We have a full review of Express VPN here along with details on how to get 3 months extra access free.